The Yellow Jersey — the greater the sacrifice, the greater the reward

2018-11-06 06:02
PHOTO: SUPPLIEDLeon Crous and Dave Duke will be cycling this year’s Ride for MRP Foundation in the illustrious yellow jersey — awarded to riders who have completed the ride most often.

PHOTO: SUPPLIEDLeon Crous and Dave Duke will be cycling this year’s Ride for MRP Foundation in the illustrious yellow jersey — awarded to riders who have completed the ride most often.

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SINCE 2010, a group of committed cyclists have tackled the Ride for MRP Foundation, a gruelling 606 km ride with purpose from Johannesburg to Durban, spanned over two days, to break the cycle of poverty and inequality in South Africa. This year’s edition (December 2 and December 3) will see Leon Crous and Dave Duke, who have both completed the Ride for MRP Foundation seven times, resulting in over 8 000 km of road time between them, cycling the endurance ride wearing the respected yellow jersey.

To reward cyclists for committing to the cause year after year, cyclists ride in different colour jerseys dependant on the number of times they’ve completed the challenge. First and second time cyclists ride in white, third and fourth time cyclists in pink, five times or more in green and the yellow jersey is worn by the riders who have completed the event the most times. The Absa Red Jersey is worn by the cyclist who has raised the most funds from the previous edition.

Duke and Crous, the two cyclists riding in yellow, are not professional athletes and have to find time during their busy work and life schedules to train for the grueling event. Craig Jones, who originally started the fundraising event nine years ago and would have been cycling for the ninth time, had to bow out of this year’s edition for health reasons.

Both cyclists feel the responsibility and honour of riding in yellow for the first time, with Dave, General Manager of SMEC — Urban and Social Development — Africa Division, saying: “It is an honour to be riding in yellow but it’s more about the ride than being in yellow. I look forward to this every year — that sense of achievement and uplifting feeling you get from spending time with your colleagues. I keep coming back because it’s the best two days you will ever spend on a bike and I’ll be back for the next year’s tenth edition. The cherry on top is knowing that what you’re doing will help other people.”

For Leon, Director of REPS (Real Estate and Property Service), “The jerseys challenge riders to come back. Being in yellow, it’s important to raise as much funding as I can and be an example to first timer riders so that they return. I love challenges and I have a never say die attitude to raise as much funds for MRP Foundation as I can.”

This year’s Ride for MRP Foundation is hoping to raise over R1 million for the MRP Foundation, with funds raised going towards empowering thousands of young South Africans through skills development and education programmes.

From 2007 to 2011, MRP Foundation’s Entry Level Retail Programme trained 28 010 youth with 12 714 placed in jobs. In 2017, over 1 500 educators were empowered with professional skills and content knowledge and since 2005 over 300 000 learners from 260 schools have benefitted from the Physical Education Programme. MRP Foundation also supports 31 Early Childhood Development Centres in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal, and 31 Early Childhood Development Centres in QwaQwa, Free State.

The 2018 Ride for MRP Foundation edition partners are: Absa, CMH Nissan Durban, SPAR, Maxed, Expand-a-Sign, City Logistics, Zapper, Trader Plus, Corruseal, KTM, Westville Cycle Club, Giant, Cyclesphere and SA Rugby Legends. — Supplied.

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